Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Spring 2010 - Japanese Black Pine Bonsai

10 year old Japanese Black Pine Bonsai

Ok, so I have been training this japanese black pine for the past 5 years and this Spring, as it was due for repotting anyhow, I decided that it was ready to be put into a bonsai pot and made ready for display.

Japanese Black Pine have a small window of opportunity when it comes to repotting that involves root-pruning. This window is in September (first month of Spring) in Brisbane.

Up until now, the training over the past 5 years has consisted of needle pruning/pinching, candle pruning and wiring branches and the trunk to form an informal upright/semi-cascade.

Now I've chosen a different front and I've done one last bit of wiring before I repot. I've also removed any needles from the undersides of the branches. Being Spring and the start of the growing season, I made sure not to wrap the wire to tight as to risk bighting into the branches and scaring the tree. This wire will come off again in about a month and I'll wait until late Summer to re-wire and correct any unwanted changes.

A square/rectangular unglazed pot was chosen, as a pine is a masculine tree and therefore dictates such characteristics in a pot. As one of the low branches also dips just below the top edge of the pot, the pot also has some depth.

Note that the base of the tree has been planted up the opposite end of the pot to the direction of the tree.

Once the tree has settled in, then I will establish patches of moss over the soil to add an additional "aged" quality to the tree. I'll also make the branches I'd removed during training (but have left the "stumps", into jin to also add to the age of the tree.

For more tips, check out my eBooks at and in particular, keep an eye out for my specialist pine tree bonsai book, which will be coming out before Christmas.

  • Tree: 10 year old Japanese Black Pine
  • Style: Informal upright
  • Pot: Japanese unglazed rectangular
  • Size: Medium (42cm in height)